Monday, 12 September 2011

How to Make a Rag Rug in 1:12 Scale

 A rag rug in 1:12 scale
You know those old-fashioned rugs, where housewives cut up strips of worn materials and hooked them through a sacking or hessian backing to make rag rugs. It was a way of getting a bit more use out of an old dress or shirt or curtain. Recycling before it became trendy.
  You can make those rag rugs too for your dolls house. They are perfect for a cottage or the service areas or children's rooms of a Victorian or Edwardian house.
  But you won't be using materials. You'll use bunka, the fine cord that comes in a myriad of colours and unravels when you pick at one end. The curly, loopy texture you get looks like a 1:12 scale version of the loops of the 'real size' hooked rugs. Remember - making minis is a bit like magic - it's all in the illusion!
   You will need:
  • a piece of backing material such as calico, linen or felt
  • bunka in your choice of colours
  • tacky glue
  • scissors
  • waxed paper
  • something heavy e.g. a tin of baked beans
I wanted a colourful rug to put in front of the cooker in my Edwardian dolls house kitchen, so I chose bunka in a variety of strong colours. My rug is a simple pattern of stripes. You might like to make a border and fill in the middle with a design. Use your imagination.
  1. Cut the piece of backing material the size you want your rug to be.
  2. To make a striped rug like mine, cut lengths of bunka twice as wide as your backing.
  3. Gently tease one end of the bunka lengths and unravel them. You want them to retain a tight but loopy texture so don't pull or stretch them too hard.
  4. Cover the backing fabric with tacky glue.
  5. Gently but firmly press the bunka onto the fabric in the design of your choosing. Don't leave any gaps.
  6. Put a piece of waxed paper on a firm surface and lay the rug on top.
  7. Cover with another piece of waxed paper and put the weight on it.
  8. Leave to dry.
  9. When thoroughly dry, trim the bunka flush with the backing fabric.
Once you've made one of these little rugs, you'll probably want to make another, and another. They are so easy and look so realistic.


  1. Hi Wendy, I was interested to read this article because I work for a dolls' house supplier in the UK and we had an unexpected success with carpets too.

    In Turkey the tourists are taregeted for genuine quality carpets and quite often they will buy a bookmark-sized version instead, as £600 sterling minimum can be a lot for a holiday souvenir.

    Guess what? The miniature ones are the perfect size for decorating 1:12 houses and are the most incredible detail and quality to take home for just a few pounds.

    What I persionally liked about them - being a regular traveller to Turkey - is the sheer range and detail available. If you would like to take a peek I have added the url to my name bit on this comment, if that works.

    I am now bookmarking your blog! (But not with a piece of Turkish flying carpet!)

  2. Replies
    1. Bunka is a type of cord that unravels when you pull at one end. I've used it for these rugs, dolls' hair, edging on dolls' clothes etc. It comes in a range of thicknesses but for 1:12 scale I find the very thin one is best. I buy mine at an emporium that has lots of braids, laces, buttons etc - really a sewing supplies shop. Hope this helps.